Certain members of the Manchester City squad may be hoping that Lionel Messi loses his race to be fit enough for Champions League duty on Tuesday , but Ruben Dias is not one of them as the Portuguese defender is desperate to test himself against the best.
Paris Saint-Germain are yet to reveal whether the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will form part of their plans for a heavyweight continental clash at Parc des Princes in midweek, but he has been pictured in full training.
Messi has been nursing a knee problem of late , but Dias is hoping to see the Argentine shake off that ailment and line up alongside fellow superstar forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe when the Premier League title holders pay a visit to the French capital.
Portugal international Dias, who helped City past PSG in the semi-finals of the 2020-21 Champions League , told reporters of facing a star-studded side managed by Mauricio Pochettino: “Messi is a phenomenal player and as a professional, you want to play against all those sorts of names.
“But whether it’s Messi, Mbappe, Neymar or [Mauro] Icardi, PSG have amazing strength in depth and no matter who it is we face, it’ll be a tough test. Everyone is looking forward to this game for exactly that reason.
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“They (PSG) have obviously strengthened a lot all over the pitch. The signings they have made this season have been fantastic and it will be a different challenge to the team we faced last year.
“But they have also been one of the strongest teams in Europe for a number of years now.
“The likes of [Sergio] Ramos and Messi will add to their winning mentality, but when we played last season, they already had Neymar, Mbappe and [Angel] Di Maria.”
The 34-year-old picked up a slight knock during an outing for PSG against Lyon on September 19.
That was just his third appearance for his new club since moving to Parc des Princes following his surprise exit from Barcelona over the summer.
Messi is still playing his way into form, and an untimely spell on the sidelines is doing that cause few favours.
He played no part in PSG’s 2-0 win over Montpellier on Saturday, as he was forced to watch on from the stands.
The Ligue 1 giants have shown that Messi is back in training, though, after taking no risks on him over the weekend, which suggests that he could come into contention to face City.